top of page

13.10.19: Millfield 2019

Six in a row!!!
Gonzaga A: 2019 Millfield Champions! We won five board prizes: Danny Dwyer, Leo Phelan, Sean Hunter, Liam Ó Laoide and James Crowley. Thanks to our wonderful host, Matthew Turner GM.
Gonzaga B: 2nd in the Major section and three board prizes for Thomas Cooney, Charles Ridgeway and Macdara Hickey.
Huge congratulations to everyone involved!

05.06.19: White Rook Tournament

Gonzaga have arrived in Sochi, Russia, for the Belaya Ladya (White Rook Tournament) - the U14 World Chess Schools' Championship. This tournament has been the premier all-Russian schools' tournament since 1969. Four years ago, it became an international tournament, with the national school champions of other countries receiving an invitation from the Russian Chess Federation and the Russian Ministry of Sport.

Gonzaga have always had to decline their invitation as one of the rules stipulates that at least one girl must play on your team of four players. However, this year, Gonzaga were permitted to take a girl from an Irish school and have her play on the team. We are very lucky to have Lara Putar, of Scoil Mhuire Primary School, Co. Leixlip, as the first girl to represent the college in an official capacity. She is joined by 1st Years: Daniel Dwyer, Jack McIntyre and James Crowley.

Best of luck to all four players during this tough nine-day tournament, and thanks to Mr Daniel Lynch for accompanying them to Sochi. A running commentary on the tournament can be found here.

14.10.18: Millfield 2018

Huge congratulations to the Gonzaga A team, who have won the Millfield chess tournament for an incredible fifth year running. An assembly was held on Tuesday to honour their achievement. See photos here.

09.04.18: Peter Carroll becomes Irish U19 Chess Champion

Over the weekend, several Gonzaga players played in the Irish Junior Championships for individual honours. Eoin Hunter came equal 4th in the U14's. Hugh Moran and Sean Hunter came equal 3rd in the U16's. Dermot Nolan came equal 2nd in the U19's.

However the outright winner of the U19's was Peter Carroll. This is a serious individual achievement. Only 4 previous Gonzaga players have become the U19 Irish Champion - Adam Kelly (1998), Sam Collins (1999), Ben Cullen (2014) and Conor O'Donnell (2016). Now, Peter Carroll (2018) adds his name to the trophy.

Massive congratulations to Peter who was 4th seed but scored 5/6 and went undefeated.


​​​​12.03.18: Gonzaga retain the U14, U16 and U19 Leinster Chess titles

Well done to all involved!

Gonzaga Chess Classic 2018

The Gonzaga Chess Classic ran over the weekend of January 26th-28th. The tournament attracted 15 titled players - most flying into Dublin for the event - including 4 Grandmasters. In total, Gonzaga hosted a record 240 players. Darragh Moran and Peter Carroll were the main TY organisers, although several students helped out. The tournament was jointly won by IM Justin Tan of Australia and GM Ante Saric of Croatia. IM Tan won the trophy in a blitz play-off match. Notable result by Henry Li (3D) who drew with a Grandmaster and Emmet McGlade (3D) scoring 6/6 in the bottom section, thereby picking up the 1st prize of €250. The tournament made a very significant investment in equipment this year but was still able to raise €2,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

Thanks for all your support and help.

Millfield Champions 2017!

Very well done to our chess players who have won the Millfield Championship for the fourth year running! Special congratulations to Henry Li (3rd Year) who was awarded the Stephen Joseph award as the top performer in the competition.


The 15th Annual Gonzaga Chess Classic took place on the weekend of January 27th – 29th. The tournament grew from a previous maximum of 150 entrants to 220 entrants this year. From humble beginnings, we are now the second biggest weekend chess tournament in Ireland. Only Bunratty is bigger and it is Europe's largest. To be rivalling Europe's biggest weekend chess tournament is quite a feat for a school-run charity tournament.

The Gonzaga Classic was won by GM Normunds Miezis who flew in for the tournament from Riga, Latvia. Normunds was one of four grandmasters and 11 internationally titled players who chose to play in the tournament. FM Conor O'Donnell (6th Year) and IM Sam Collins (Class of 2001) both beat their initial seeding to finish joint second after a final round draw against each other. In total, we had a record 56 players, from 12 different countries, playing in the Masters Section. In comparison, we had only 16 players in the Masters in 2012. Thanks must go to CPL Recruitment for allowing us to increase the prize fund and to MHL Hotel Collection for putting up the top players in the Hilton Charlemont free of charge.

This year we were able to fully utilize the impressive theatre facilities of the school. The top four boards were played on the main stage and electronic boards allowed the games to be projected above the players for the audience to see. These electronic boards also relayed the games live on the internet for spectators to follow around the world.

From the large number of entries, we have been able to donate €3,000 to the Habitat for Humanity charity. To date, the Gonzaga Chess Classic has raised over €40,000 for various charities.

The tournament is almost entirely student-run. The Transition Year team, led by Michael Higgins and Conor Nolan, were truly outstanding. Simply put, they organised one of the best tournaments Ireland has ever seen. They gathered some of the best players in the world and in such a professional manner that several of the players told me how pleasantly shocked they were when they learned that the organizers were only 15 years old. When one of the more difficult-to-please online reviewers compared the tournament to some of the top in the world - London Classic, Tata Steel etc - it was clear what an incredible job they had done.

It has been an exceptional year for Gonzaga chess even given that we are in an exceptional period. We retained the UK title in Millfield for the 3rd year in a row and backed it up by beating 50 of the top UK schools at the Eton College tournament. In running such an excellent tournament, the TY boys have shown that are willing to put in hard work and effort off the board too. They are to be commended. Last but not least, I would like to profusely thank the Staff and Management for all their support in making the weekend run so smoothly. The support given allowed for the weekend to be successful and enjoyable in equal measure.


The Leinster Junior Chess Championship took place in Bray in early January. Players represent themselves individually for the title of Leinster Junior Champion. Gonzaga had a clean sweep of the major titles. 1st Year Seán Hunter narrowly edged out Liam Ó Laoide (also a 1st Year in Gonzaga) to become Leinster U14 Champion. 2nd Year Henry Li, fresh from beating two Grandmasters, won the U16 Championship with a perfect score. In the U19, 6th Year and Irish Senior international, FM Conor O'Donnell, won the title with another perfect score. Congratulations to all who participated.

09.10.2016 Millfield Winners

Congratulations to our chess team who have won the Millfield International Schools' Chess Championship for the third year in a row

19.09.2016: Gonzaga are 2016 Eton College Champions

Very well done to the Gonzaga A chess team who have won the 2016 Eton College Rapidplay Tournament. 50 schools took part with six players per team over five rounds. This was the first time that an international team was invited to participate.


Conor O’Donnell (S6C) is currently in Baku, Azerbaijan representing Ireland in the 42nd World Chess Olympiad – the highest team tournament in chess. No fewer than 16 of the top 20 players in the world are playing, including world-champion, Magnus Carlsen (Norway). Conor is the 4th ranked player on the Irish team, which consists of only 5 players. The Irish team is led by Grandmaster Alexander Baburin.

Ireland were seeded 69th out of 150 countries. After 9 rounds they are currently in 33rd-53rd place (50th on the various tie-breaks). Conor has played against Bolivia, Vietnam, Madagascar, Wales, Namibia and Iraq. He stands on 3.5/6, having won his last two games. To represent Ireland at the Olympiad is the highest international honour. We send our congratulations and good wishes to Conor.


Ireland play Austria today in the penultimate round. The games can be followed live here: Games begin at midday (Irish time).


The Gonzaga chess club is thriving. French team captain, GM Sebastian Mazé (World No. 134) has joined the club team. He flies in for several weekend matches. FM Stephen Jessel, No. 2 on the Irish Olympiad team, and Killian Delaney have also joined the squad.

At the City of Dublin tournament (an open tournament for all) this weekend, Hugh Byrne (S4A) won the U1200 Section. Dermot Nolan (S4C) went one better winning the U1600 Section. However, Henry Li (S2D) upstaged everyone by becoming the youngest City of Dublin Masters’ winner in the competition’s long, long history. Well done to everyone who participated. The collective results were probably Gonzaga’s finest in a weekend tournament.

Chess – Millfield  2015

Congratulations to the whole team and thanks particularly to Daniel and to Ollie for training and accompanying the teams. A really wonderful achievement.

Gonzaga have won the Millfield International Chess Tournament for the 2nd Year in a row.

The competition, held in Millfield School, Somerset, annually hosts the de facto Bristish Isles School Championship.

Gonzaga scored 42/60 finishing ahead of Manchester Grammar (33.5), Queen Elizabeth, Barnet (31), Haberdasher's Aske's (30.5) and RGS Guilford (30).

The A team was captained by Peter Urwin with Gabriel O'Rourke as vice-captain. Board prizes were won by Conor O'Donnell, Padraig Sheehy, Dermot Noland and Benen O'Toole. Henry Li won the best U14 performance of the tournament.

The Gonzaga B team came 4th in the 2nd Section behind St. Benildus, Millfield and Winchester College. Sean Sheehy won a board prize.

Of particular note was the performance of FM Conor O'Donnell. Conor was playing top board for Gonzaga and scored 7/7 against the best players in Britain. In so doing, he won the Board 1 prize, best U18 performance and was awarded the Stephen Joseph Memorial trophy (best overall tournament performance). Conor's name now joins only 2 other Gonzaga players on that trophy: International Masters Mark Quinn and Sam Collins.

The Millfield International Chess Champions for 2015 are:

Conor O'Donnell, Conor Maher, Henry Li, Michael Higgins, Peter Cooke, Peter Urwin, Conor Nolan, Padraig Sheehy, Gabriel O'Rourke, Oisin Tong, Dermot Nolan and Benen O'Toole.

Chess Millfield 2019  (7).jpg
White Rook 1.jpg
Millfield 2018 (5).jpg
bottom of page